A few years ago, Gartner predicted that CX would become the definitive differentiator between companies by 2021. And today customer-centric companies are 60% more profitable than less customer-focused rivals.
But it’s not just CX that is a priority. During the disruption of the past couple of years, companies had to manage entire workforces remotely. This prompted a focus on another kind of experience, that of the employee, so EX became a new strategic focal point. What became clear was that EX and CX are inextricably linked: each drives the other to greater success.
As digital transformation initiatives accelerated in recent years, companies’ main business objectives shifted to enhancing CX (58%) and improving employee productivity (57%), according to Gartner’s Digital Business Acceleration Survey 2021. What the smarter companies have done is meld the two, recognizing that a combined experience strategy can deliver much greater results and business outcomes.
Focus on operational experience
Now the next part of the experience jigsaw is attracting attention: operational experience (OX). It ensures that the digital solutions serving customers and employees are working optimally. This creates a productive, efficient and harmonious organization with engaged loyal customers and a happy, motivated and productive workforce.
OX refers to all the vital things behind the scenes in your organization to drive great CX and make enhanced EX possible. OX is about improving service management, ensuring your infrastructure is working properly, cutting downtime in manufacturing systems, indeed any area where technology can be used to make your operating processes and practices more efficient and more enabling by extension.
In practical terms, this could mean bringing 5G to support augmented maintenance and autonomous vehicles, as Orange has done with multinational steelmaker ArcelorMittal. The company wanted to ramp up steel production and drive efficiency gains, in line with its ESG strategy and circular economy goals.
5G next-generation mobile connectivity enabled the company to implement remote maintenance, driving greatly reduced production downtime. Autonomous road and rail vehicles will generate massive productivity gains. And thanks to 5G, IoT sensors and edge-enabled machine learning, ArcelorMittal can extract valuable data from raw materials in the manufacturing process to again drive efficiencies.
These operational experience improvements help improve CX and EX. Your organization operates better making workers more productive. And your better-performing organization and more productive employees can drive an enhanced CX for your customers.
Digital key to unlocking experience value
Orange has recognized the relationship between CX, EX and OX, and how digital transformation can best power them. All three of them rely on trusted data and using that data to create positive outcomes. Gathering, transporting, storing and securing your data in order to exploit it requires next-generation digital infrastructure and a platform that empowers you. This is where Orange Evolution Platform comes in, which combines cloud, connectivity, security and digital integration to help companies turn digital complexity into disruptive opportunities.
Next, analytics and AI tools can be applied to data, enabling you to reinvent how you look at your business, how to identify areas for improvement, and empowering you to make better-informed decisions, faster. Fox example, data from your manufacturing facility can be used to reduce production downtime and get your products to market faster and more cost-effectively. That’s OX. Your employees in that example benefit from a smoother job experience and greater productivity, which is EX. And the result is your customers get a better experience thanks to enhanced production and output from your organization.
CX, EX and OX pave the way to TX
Combining CX, EX and OX activities and processes aligns with what Gartner calls total experience (TX), a strategy that uses technology to combine myriad touchpoints and devices. Combining these experiences and having them benefit one another makes your organization better equipped to drive the business outcomes you want.
That might be prioritizing customer satisfaction, creating a healthy, productive working environment, improving the quality of your products and services or growing brand loyalty. Focusing on a symbiotic relationship between your CX, EX and OX can help you deliver an all-round exceptional experience to anybody who meets your brand.
Outcomes and benefits
Orange believes that the outcomes and benefits you can drive from a combined CX, EX and OX strategy extend to a wide range of areas. As previously mentioned, there are the positive impacts on customer satisfaction, products and services, employee work environment and brand loyalty. But past those, there are larger corporate business targets that can be impacted, such as ESG, reliability and security, and trust and transparency.
Being successful and driving competitive advantage in today’s disruptive world means pulling experiences together into a bigger whole than the sum of their parts. Enhanced experiences will be what differentiates prosperous brands from also-rans in 2023 and beyond.
If you would like to talk about CX, EX and OX and how they drive TX, and how Orange helps our partners and customers in the region succeed and thrive, please contact me on: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sahem Azzam is VP Middle East & Africa at Orange Business. He is an experienced senior business leader with extensive experience in the Middle East region and emerging markets and a strong track record of achievement in the information technology and services industry. Sahem has developed special interest and expertise in business and sales management leadership, partner management, go-to-market strategy development, infrastructure services, IoT, Big Data, Smart Cities, Blockchain and IT service management.